Marijuana operation in Stellarton finally gets green light after 6 years
Company behind effort to convert former Clairtone plant announces Health Canada approval
The plan to grow cannabis in Stellarton, N.S., has finally come to fruition, nearly six years after the groundwork was first laid to convert a large former electronics plant into a marijuana production facility.
Zenabis Global Inc. announced Monday the site has received its cultivation licence from Health Canada.
"We are incredibly excited about the fact we've now achieved our licence," said company CEO Andrew Grieve. "We are happy to be growing here."
Grieve said $20 million has been spent to date on transforming the old Clairtone plant in Stellarton. One of Zenabis's investors is Millbrook First Nation, which has poured $5 million into the venture.
The huge building where stereos were once built will now have 255,000 square feet dedicated to cannabis cultivation. It will also become a hub for many new jobs.
"They're going to be a major employer here in town in what is still a new industry, so we are very excited to have them here," said Stellarton Mayor Danny MacGillivray.
There are currently 20 employees, but once production ramps up to full capacity there will be 200 workers at the Stellarton plant by the end of 2019.
Some marijuana plants have already been started and the first crop will be ready in about two months. The facility does not yet have a licence to sell out of Stellarton, so product will be shipped to another Zenabis operation, in Atholville, N.B.
"We can be cultivating as much as we want here in Stellarton now," said Grieve. "We'll be shipping it off to Atholville where we will complete the processing and packaging process, and then from there we will be selling it off to our provincial customers."
Zenabis also has operations in Delta, B.C.
Only two companies operating in Nova Scotia currently have a licence to sell their cannabis products at NSLC cannabis stores.
Breathing Green Solutions in the Wentworth Valley became the first in October 2018, while Highland Grow Inc. in Ohio, Antigonish County, got the green light to sell two months later.
Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade said Monday the First Nation had been looking at different options before meeting with Zenabis. He said the company invited them to become partners and "we willingly accepted."
"We said we are not going to miss out on any opportunities in this venture going forward," he said.